N. London festival keeps police busy

Zoe Greszler • Sep 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM

NEW LONDON — The Firelands Labor Day Festival experienced an unusually rowdy year this weekend, with the New London Police Department responding to 86 calls over the three-day period.  

Lt. Joseph Hicks said the calls started coming in shortly after the festival’s start time, about 6:30 p.m. Friday, and continued to keep officers busy until the gates closed, about 10 p.m. Monday. 

Officers wrote up 12 traffic violations, issued four summons, made one arrest and responded to a non-fatal overdose, which took place in the main restrooms Sunday.

Hicks said the department figured it was on “borrowed time” after the past three years saw relatively peaceful festivals. However, he noted this year was especially busy with calls. 

“That’s definitely an increase in calls,” he said. “Usually alcohol fuels the fire and we’ll usually see the most amount of activity on Sunday. It’s always the peak of activity and it seems like it turns into a fight always on Sunday, but then it all calms down after that. ... All in all though, it was a good festival. Our officers all did well and worked well as a team.”

One of the major reports came in about 8:43 p.m. Saturday when a woman accused a male suspect, a former friend, of touching her inappropriately at the New London Recreation Park.

“He grabbed her arm and was kind of rough with her,” Hicks said. “I’m not sure if he put (her arm) behind her back or just twisted, but then I guess he kind of rubbed himself on her or something. And again, I’m not sure to what the extent all that happened, but she wanted officers to contact him and tell him not to contact her again.”

Hicks said the woman didn’t want any formal charges filed against the man in connection with the inappropriate activity. However, the police report said when officers contacted him, he reportedly admitted to touching her and police detected an odor of suspected marijuana. Police also said the suspect admitted to smoking and being in possession of drug paraphernalia. Cory L. Bosch, 20, of New London, was charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and was told to stay out of the park for the remainder of the festival.

About 2:47 p.m. Saturday, officers arrested James M. Baker, 38, of New London, who was found to have three drug-related warrants out of the Mansfield Police Department. Police said unspecified drugs reportedly were located on him during the search and he was released to a Mansfield officer.

Two fights broke out Sunday, one at about 10 p.m. in the festival beer tent.

After lengthy interviews, Aaron M. Hyde, 39, and Lynae K. Hines, 37, both of Elyria, were charged with disorderly conduct (fighting). Clarence E. Lee, 41, of Norwalk, was arrested on an undisclosed warrant out of the Norwalk Police Department. Lee was transported to the Huron County Sheriff’s Office.

The other fight broke out in the campground area about 11:59 p.m. 

Hicks said when officers arrived, the only person in the vicinity was the injured victim. Though he couldn’t comment on the extent of the injuries, Hicks said the victim was transported to Fisher-Titus Medical Center for further treatment.

“There’s no solid number on how many were involved in the fight, just multiple people,” the lieutenant added. “Alcohol was a factor in both fights.”

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